Brexit Outcome Is a Vote Against the World – Anshel Pfeffer – Haaretz

Brexit Outcome Is a Vote Against the World – Anshel Pfeffer – Haaretz

The victory of the ‘leave’ campaign to exit the EU reflected millions of Britons’ resentment, estrangement, jealousy and anger with the existing order.

brexitLONDON – The atmosphere in the British capital throughout voting on Thursday’s EU referendum was optimistic. On the streets, outside Tube stations, in windows and doorways, it was almost exclusively signs and activists with the slogans “IN” and “remain.” Members of rival parties – the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats – all cooperated in bringing out “their” voters to the polls. The heavy rain caused delays on rail lines and slightly decreased turnout, but it was merely a slight worry, no more.

But London was never so detached from the rest of the United Kingdom.  The victory of the “leave” campaign in the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union was greeted with complete shock in the early hours of Friday morning. Only a few hours earlier, when the polling stations closed at 10 P.M., the pollsters, journalists and even politicians in both camps were pretty certain that a small majority would vote to stay in the EU.  

Two polls carried out throughout the day had the “remain” campaign leading by between 4 and 7 percent. No exit polls had been carried out due to the difficulty of sampling voters in an unprecedented national referendum, with the highest voter turnout in elections in over 25 years. But instead, the prevailing trends had been correctly assessed.

All the divergences had been predicted. It was clear in advance that London and Scotland would overwhelmingly vote to remain, while the rest of England and Wales would prefer to leave (overall, 51.9 percent voted to “leave,” while 48.1 percent voted to “remain”). They knew that the older voters, those who had passed the barrier of 40, wanted to return to the old, closed-off Britain of the past.

Those with better education and higher incomes were correctly predicted to be more pro-“remain.” But the depth of feeling of the “leave” supporters could not be predicted.

Above all, the referendum decision was made by those who can’t see themselves gaining from a Britain that is part of a global society – those who see themselves as disconnected from cosmopolitan London and who don’t feel comfortable in a new multicultural Britain. They were mainly older, white voters, but also young people and the children of immigrants who felt estranged from the “State of London.” There is a clear comparison here to the bitter feelings of many Israelis toward the “Tel Aviv bubble.”

What motivated millions of Britons to the polling booths – many of them non-voters at parliamentary elections – was a combination of resentment, estrangement, jealousy and anger with the existing order and those perpetuating it.

This was the result of a massive protest vote and protest voters who may not have intended to go all the way. Most of the Britons who voted to leave the EU just wanted to “stick it” to the bureaucrats in Brussels, to the politicians in Westminster, to the bosses who make much more money and run the big companies.

They didn’t mean to make common cause with the leaders of racist and populist parties on the continent, who are celebrating this morning. They didn’t want to give the nationalists in Scotland and Northern Ireland a reason to demand their own independence referendums. They certainly didn’t want to topple the pound and stock exchange, jeopardizing their own life savings.

They just wanted, for once, to feel masters of their own destiny, to win an “independence day” from the frightening new global order.


Mural of Donald Trump kissing Boris Johnson appears in Bristol

kiss of death

The pro-EU group behind the campaign said the mural is the ‘kiss of the death’

A mural of Donald Trump locked in a kiss with Boris Johnson has been painted in Bristol. 

It has been painted on a derelict building in Stokes Croft, Bristol by the group We Are Europe in a bid to encourage voters to vote to stay in the European Union.

The painting of one of the most prominent Brexit-backers and the presumptive US Republican candidate, who has also backed Brexit, kissing is above a slogan encouraging people to register to vote on 23 June.

Source :

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • mick25117  On 06/25/2016 at 2:45 am

    Brexit is a vote against dictatorship not the world!

  • Clyde Duncan  On 06/25/2016 at 6:35 am

    Will Explosive BREXIT Shocker Trigger a Chain Reaction That Makes Trump President?

    In Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt showed how Europe’s refugee problem 100 years ago ushered in an age of dictators and destruction.

    Chemi Shalev – HAARETZ

    In 1935, as fascism was taking hold in Europe, renowned author Sinclair Lewis published his book “It Can’t Happen Here”. The plot centered on a nationalistic demagogue who imposes a tyrannical police state on the USA. Said to be modeled after Louisiana demagogue Huey Long before his assassination that same year, the book warned the U.S.A. that it is not immune to what was happening across the Atlantic. Eighty years later, there was no need for such a wake-up call when news arrived on Friday morning that the United Kingdom had voted to leave Europe. The alarm bells went off immediately.

    The eerie timing of Donald Trump’s golf-promoting visit to Scotland accentuated the obvious concern. The parallels with Britain were inevitable. The same elements of white resentment, fear of immigrants, anxiety over globalization, animosity towards cosmopolitan elites of every shape and kind and people’s wish “to take their country back in their hands,” as Trump said, could come together at just the right time to elect the GOP candidate as President as well. It can happen here, most Americans said this morning, some with hope, but most with dread.

    This was perhaps the most immediate impact of the U.K. vote on Trump’s campaign: it made his election feasible again, after weeks in which his prospects seemed to grow ever more preposterous. Like the recent elections in Israel, the shock British results showed that experts and analysts suffer from groupthink, that purported opinion-makers are anything but, that polls increasingly fail to detect underwater currents that surface just in time to determine outcomes and that in politics, at least, yesterday’s unthinkable is today’s breaking news.

    If conservative Great Britain can ignore universal warnings and launch a process that most of the world considers catastrophic, then daredevil America can certainly follow in its footsteps, and more so.

    The British vote is a setback for Barack Obama, who made the decision, possibly ill-advised in retrospect, to use his April visit to the United Kingdom to call on its subjects to reject BREXIT. Trump even pinned some of the responsibility for the outcome on Obama’s shoulders. In any case, there’s no doubt that Thursday was one of Obama’s worst as president, with the British vote preceded by the Supreme Court 4-4 tie that kept in place an appeals court decision to nix his executive actions on amnesty for undocumented immigrants.

    The New York Times couldn’t decide on Thursday night which was more important, so it gave both stories as main headlines, one beneath the other, on its front page on Friday. They could have emulated former Israeli President Zalman Shazar who as editor of the Davar newspaper, exasperated in 1938 by reports of Hitler’s Anschluss in Austria, a massive earthquake in China and deadly attacks on Jews in then-Palestine, simply wrote “The world is like a maelstrom” at the top of the newspaper’s front page.

    Naturally, apprehension seemed to grip supporters of Hillary Clinton as well. Not only should she be wary of Trump’s backwind, she could be blown away by the potential economic downturn that might follow BREXIT, as someone who is identified, for better but also for worse, with the Obama administration. Clinton’s campaign wisely opted for pre-emption, saying in a statement that the uncertainty created by BREXIT “only underscores the need for calm, steady, experienced leadership in the White House to protect Americans’ pocketbooks and livelihoods.”

    She may be right. Rather than setting her back, in a few days or weeks it could emerge that BREXIT is working in Clinton’s favour and boomeranging on Trump. Americans might very well be taken aback by the political turmoil about to descend on Europe and be deterred from instigating the same kind of turbulence that might ensue if they opt for Trump. And the blame for an economic crisis that could grip Britain and world markets in the wake of Thursday’s vote might not necessarily be ascribed to Obama and Clinton but to radical mavericks such as Donald Trump and Britain’s Boris Johnson and their hare-brained ideas instead.

    Beyond the immediate political ramifications, of course, the BREXIT verdict could have long-term ramifications for U.S.A.-British relations. Obama and his successor, whoever it will be, may come to regret the departure of David Cameron, long considered the latest of a long line of British prime ministers who fostered the “special relationship” between the two countries.

    Though Obama and other American officials tried to reassure that the “special relationship” would continue as before, they are worried nonetheless. Cameron’s successor might find it difficult to emulate the intimacy of Cameron’s ties to Obama, troubled as their ties may have been. If it’s to be Johnson, who suggested that Obama’s intervention in the British debate had something to do with his Kenyan father, he’d probably do better to cool his heels altogether until the President leaves office in January.

    The special relationship between Washington and London serves as a useful backchannel and potential emergency brake for the U.S.A. in its relations with the European Union as a whole. Like many in Israel, American officials will be sorry to lose the attentive ear of the British government and its balancing influence on decision makers in Brussels. Americans are also anxious about the consequences of the British vote on its German ally, Angela Merkel, largely identified today with the influx of refugees from Syria and North Africa that fueled anti-immigration and anti-EU sentiments in Britain as well. The ripple effects could weaken Merkel at home, along with other moderate European regimes.

    The joy expressed by far right populists such as France’s Marine Le Pen and the Netherlands’ Geert Wilders and their demand to hold similar referendums gives rise to an even greater fear of an approaching wave of racist, anti-establishment neo-Fascism that could infect other countries in Europe. Once again, there is an unavoidable and worrisome analogy to the 1930’s, when fascism and totalitarianism spread from Italy to the National Socialist regime in Germany, Franco’s Phalanges in Spain, the Fourth of August Regime in Greece and similar intolerant and nationalistic governments in Poland, Romania, Croatia and Portugal.

    In her well-known treatise on The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt devotes a significant chapter to the corrosive influence of the overwhelming refugee problem created in Europe in the wake of the First World War. Its echoes may be faint in today’s completely different reality, but distinct enough to alarm. The völkisch nation, Arendt asserts, defeated the formal state, which undermined itself when it deprived some of its subjects of equality under the law. The decision of various European governments, bowing to populist demands, to officially designate minority nationalities as second class citizens and to strip all rights from so-called stateless persons, made it difficult for countries “to resist the temptation to deprive all citizens of legal status and rule them with an omnipotent police.” It also paved the way for designating Jews as undeserving of any rights at all and justified the necessity of finding a “final solution” to their problem.

    “It is almost impossible even now to describe what actually happened in Europe on August 4, 1914,” Arendt wrote. “The days before and the days after the First World War are separated not like the end of an old and the beginning of a new period, but like the day before and the day after an explosion. Yet this figure of speech is as inaccurate as are all the others, because the quiet of sorrow which settles down after a catastrophe has never come to pass. The first explosion seems to have touched off a chain reaction in which we have been caught ever since and which nobody seems able to stop.” Perhaps this is the essence of the fear that has gripped much of the world in the wake of the shock British vote: that we are once again caught in a chain reaction that could lead, among other things, to the election of an eminently unqualified candidate that many consider to be a dangerous demagogue as leader of the free world. And that it’s too late for anyone to stop him.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 06/25/2016 at 6:43 am

    MSNBC – Rachel Maddow: UK Roots Deep in the “United States of Europe”

  • Clyde Duncan  On 06/25/2016 at 10:29 am

    I’ve Worked for Both Clintons and I Know Exactly Why Donald Trump Assaults Their Marriage

    Having worked for both Clintons, I see Donald Trump’s gutter-level assault on their marriage through a different prism than the pundits. Donald doesn’t attack Hillary’s marriage out of some shrewd political plan. He doesn’t focus his attention on Bill Clinton’s past because of some genius campaign strategy. It’s much simpler than that: Donald fears women. More specifically, he fears Hillary.

    There’s a reason Donald’s attention has been focused more on Bill Clinton, Bernie Sanders and President Obama than on Hillary. It’s because he desperately wants to run against a man. He’s the proverbial schoolyard bully who joyfully sucker-punches other boys but is secretly petrified of the girls. He needs a man in the race to shield him from a head-to-head contest with Hillary.

    For a deeply insecure male like Donald, whose degrading attitude toward women will be his downfall, being defeated by a woman is the ultimate humiliation.

    Women are objects to him, not worthy rivals. Recall his words:

    “Beauty and elegance, whether in a woman, a building, or a work of art, is not just superficial or something pretty to see.”

    Or the crasser version:
    “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of [expletive].”

    For Donald, a woman is something you own, not someone you respect. Women know men like Donald, which is why he polls so abysmally with them.

    At BNR we launched the #WomenTrumpDonald hashtag for a reason: it is the perfect encapsulation of the 2016 election. And the tag has caught on quickly for that reason.

    This is also personal for me.

    Over the past decade, I’ve worked for both Hillary and Bill Clinton. I know how different they are, and each so exceptional in their own way.

    When I first met Bill Clinton in his Harlem office ten years ago (photo deleted), I was struck by his ability to improvise and extrapolate on any topic, to reel off statistics with enviable ease, peppering his impassioned views on progressive issues with a staggering array of facts and figures. Bill Clinton is a man whose mind is always working, who has the same exuberance about the intricacies of politics and policy today as he did 20, 30 and 40 years ago.

    Hillary, by contrast, is the consummate listener. I’ve recounted this story before and I’ll do it again here to illustrate my point:

    On a Sunday morning ten years ago, a week after I joined Hillary’s team, there were reports of trouble in Lebanon (where I grew up). When my phone rang early that morning I wasn’t sure what to expect. It wasn’t a family member or a friend. It was Hillary Clinton, calling to make sure my relatives were OK. We spoke briefly and I hung up stunned at the empathy and compassion from someone I had met only a week before. In every encounter with Hillary since then, personal or professional, the same person who called me that morning shines through.

    Here’s my point: Hillary is not Bill and Bill is not Hillary. When Donald lumps them together and attacks her for his actions, when he treats them as a single entity, he’s doing it out of desperation and deep insecurity, not because he’s got some devious master plan.

    Donald isn’t the hard-punching, straight talker the media are dutifully painting him to be. He is a coward and a liar who fears women and demeans them at every turn, while protesting that he “respects them.” He is essentially hiding behind Bill Clinton and Bernie Sanders, hurling pathetic insults at Hillary while she focuses on issues that actually matter to voters.

    An accidental winner of the Republican primary because of the weak field he faced and his willingness to express radical GOP views directly rather than in code, Donald now faces a profoundly different foe in Hillary.

    He is not prepared to face her with dignity. Instead he will sling mud in every direction and he’ll rely on the national media to help him do it, wittingly or unwittingly.
    [This article was originally published on 5/25/16 and updated on 6/22/16]

    Peter Daou is a former adviser to Hillary Clinton and John Kerry and a veteran of two presidential campaigns. He is the CEO of BNR-Blue Nation Review.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 06/25/2016 at 11:14 am

    The Wall –

  • Leslie Chin  On 06/25/2016 at 7:48 pm

    The Brexit result and the Donald Trump phenomenon remind me of the 1976 movie “Network” with Peter Finch et alia. There is certainly a lot of dissatisfaction with the status quo everywhere.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 06/26/2016 at 2:18 pm

    First the Suez crisis; then the invasion of Iraq – And now this referendum

    by William Keegan – The Guardian UK

    In the catalogue of catastrophic misjudgments made by prime ministers, what David Cameron has done to Britain ranks very high

    ‘Here we are, and the question is: where do we go from here?” Thus spoke one of David Cameron’s (and my) political heroes, after a crisis that bore little comparison with the ordeal that our prime minister has recently put us all through.

    The speaker was Harold Macmillan, a true one nation Tory; Cameron claims to be one too, but he has often been sidetracked by the appalling, right-wing, Euro-sceptical element in the party he has now given up trying to lead.

    When I say “put us through”, I refer not just to the near-half of the British electorate – of whom your correspondent was certainly one – who voted Remain.

    I refer also to large parts of the rest of Europe, and indeed the entire world, who could not understand why this wretched referendum had been called at all.

    We know the shallow, indeed base, rationalisation: he was worried about the electoral threat from Ukip, and made the mistake of thinking that, by conceding a referendum, he could also silence, or at least calm down, the vociferous anti-Europeans within the Conservative party itself.

    Some hopes! Lady Macbeth’s eternal judgment was always going to threaten him: “We have scorched the snake, not killed it.” And, if he had delved further back into our prized European cultural heritage, he would have recalled the ancient myth about the “sop to Cerberus”: the warning that appeasement is never efficacious in such circumstances, because the monster always wants more to devour.

    Now, it has become pretty obvious to students of Cameron that he just makes it up as he goes along. But being a man of considerable intelligence and first-class education, he will no doubt have known of Clement Attlee’s swift rebuff to Winston Churchill in 1945, when our wartime leader and prime minister suggested that there should be a referendum instead of a general election. Attlee dismissed this out of hand, pointing out that referendums had been the dubious, dictatorial resort of Hitler and Mussolini in the interwar years, and we should have none of it.

    Attlee then proceeded to win the 1945 general election by a landslide, founded the National Health Service, and set up the kind of welfare state “safety net” that had been missing in the interwar years – and which, with a few grumbles here and there, was accepted by the postwar Conservative party, and especially Macmillan, prime minister from 1957 to 1963.

    Macmillan succeeded Anthony Eden, who had himself waited so long to succeed Churchill that, when the latter finally retired in 1955, Eden lost the plot and indulged in the disastrous Suez venture of 1956. The Americans eventually pulled the rug from under him, by refusing to support the pound during the financial crisis brought on by the whole fiasco.

    The Suez expedition was one of the most egregious misjudgments made by a British prime minister since the 1939-45 war. Tony Blair’s backing of George W Bush’s invasion of Iraq was another. And the calling of this referendum ranks pretty close in the hierarchy of monumental prime ministerial miscalculations.

    The only remotely convincing explanation I have heard for this failed gamble is that Cameron was expecting another coalition in which the Liberal Democrats would let him off the hook of calling a referendum. Well, he routed his potential coalition partners and has proceeded to unleash Jacquerie-style forces that are way beyond his or anyone else’s control – but much welcomed by the likes of Donald Trump and Madame le Pen.

    One of my oldest friends, a one nation Tory like Macmillan (and like Cameron in his better moments), maintains that, even if one voted the other way, it has previously always been possible to see why the “good old British public” voted the way it did in every election since 1945. But the good old British public has got it hopelessly wrong this time, and will pay dearly for allowing itself to be conned into thinking that the European Union, and immigration, are responsible for their undoubted unhappiness.

    The causes of their winter of discontent are manifold and it is true that successive governments have failed to address the housing crisis or respond adequately to pressures on public services. But there is a difference between responding adequately and actually taking the knife to essential public services and exacerbating the reasons for that discontent – the legacy of George Osborne’s chancellorship.

    Did they really believe that money retrieved from the EU was going to be spent on the health service? Why, the egregious Farage already resiled from that lying promise within hours of his unfortunate victory.

    Did they really believe that right-wing zealots such as Alexander “Boris” Johnson and Michael Gove were planning to reverse the austerity policies that have wreaked so much social damage?

    There is an old Chinese proverb: Be careful what you wish for. The British – or rather, the English and Welsh – have now got it.

    Where do we go from here? I think, dear reader, that you have got my answer. But let me end with one last wish: that the Labour party finds itself a charismatic leader to take on these charlatans in the coming general election.

  • guyaneseonline  On 06/27/2016 at 2:07 am

    Sent by Compton DeCastro..

    Ladies and gentlemen
    As the political infighting in UK and EU
    escalates and continues observe the
    ERM of the money markets.

    Losers after Referundum UK EU
    Winners USA

    With the USD as the world reserve currency
    this was predictable.
    As dust in EU settles and USA sand storm
    election looms will the $ weaken or strengthen.

    My suspicion is like water it will find its
    own level (value) against other world currencies.
    My concern is that Euro can become the
    world new reserve currency.
    ERM Armageddon 1930 depression reincarnate Hitler becomes next CIC
    USA ….never say never !
    Baby Euro was born 1st January 1999
    @ £=€1.40=$2.00
    Today see above.

    Am not superstitious but is it the “ides
    of march” and Caesars assassination…
    Et tu Brutae ?
    Cameron goes in October if not before.
    Corbyn refuses to resign.
    OZ elections soon.
    USA in November
    Will USA have the witch or lunatic as its next
    CIC ?
    2016 is certainly becoming an eventfully
    entertaining year.
    Enjoy your day wherever you are
    Live for today as if there was no tomorrow
    in peace and love

    Lord soros bishop of Cherin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: